Butterfly Wing Like Thermosensors Detect Explosives

By: | February 21st, 2015

IndustryTap reported recently on “New Sensors Help Detect, Flush Out Criminals” in which sewers in major cities around the world are being fitted with chemical networks to detect dangerous chemicals that are a signature of bomb and chemical weapon manufacturing.

Making Public Spaces Safer

In yet another case of biomimetics, General Electric is now developing low-cost thermal imaging themosensors embedded in tiny stickers the size of postage stamps. The detectors are made up of an RFID sensor tag and a battery-powered handheld RFID tag reader and are inspired by the design of Morpho Butterfly wings.

Morpho Butterfly wings designed in nature can be re-created using nanotechnology and become perfect thermal imaging heat sensors. The unique design of Morpho Butterfly wings makes them perfect for recognizing dangerous chemical patterns. The structure of the thermal sensors traps hazardous materials in a film and nanosensors identify them.

As a result of the work being carried out by GE, a $6 million grant for further development was awarded by DARPA.

Thermosensor Development

The following video shows a thermographic image of the newly designed “Morpho Butterfly” structure that responds to  heat produced by a person’s breathing.

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Michael Cooney

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